Previous Women 2.0 Conference speaker Robin Chase founded ZipCar, which went public in April 2011 and announced plans today to be acquired by car rental giant Avis.
By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)
The 1000+ Women 2.0 Conference attendees last Valentine’s Day remember Robin Chase’s story of going from concept to customers – from putting the first ZipCar car key under her doormat to prove the car-sharing concept, to getting investment for the first ZipCars from unexpected places.
Many people may not know that the biggest car-sharing network ZipCar was started by a Wellesley and MIT Sloan alum who proclaimed good-humoredly about her ambitious/entrepreneurial itch to start a car-sharing company: “I was irritated for a number of years and then I founded Zipcar when my three children were required by law to be in school for many hours a day.”
- Focus on technology development – Figure out what is the absolute minimum. Launch lean, then iterate quickly.
- Luck does happen – It’s when preparation meets opportunity.
- When fundraising – Be very clear on what exactly you’re doing with the capital you’re raising.
- Build a company that people will write love notes to – Customers have sent in pictures of ZipCars driving newborn children home from the hospital, or involved in an engagement proposal.
Get your ticket to join Women 2.0 at our annual conference on February 14, 2013 in San Francisco for our annual event featuring a full day of successful women entrepreneurs and executives speaking, as well as startup competition finalists’ presentations onstage in front of investors and live audience.
Women 2.0 readers: What was your biggest takeaway from Robin Chase’s entrepreneurial journey? Let us know in the comments.
Angie Chang co-founded Women 2.0 in 2006. She currently serves as Editor-In-Chief of Women 2.0 and is working to mainstream women in high-growth, high-tech entrepreneurship. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. In 2008, Angie launched Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners, asking that guys come as the “+1” for once. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.